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Tribes of Manipur: Gangte Tribe


  • The Gangte is a major Kuki-Chin tribe of Manipur found in the districts of Tamenglong, Churachandpur and Senapati (Sadar Hills). Their main population is concentrated in Churachandpur district.
  • According to the Census of 2001, the population of Gangte tribe is 15100 as compared to 13580 persons in 1991.
  • They believe in the emergence of the progenitors from subterranean world through a cave and they have incorporated the belief in their awmlam dance. It is mentioned that the Gangtes started that their settlement at Lekong, which might be a corruption of name for Lepcha, and then at Nangdung. They have a story of this movement in Chin Hills of Burma and thence to Lushai Hills (now in Mizoram) and then moved on to Manipur. A recorded history stated that 40 households of Gangte migrated from Mizoram to Manipur after the Gangte had incurred the displeasure of the Mizo. Some households of Paite formed a human shield protecting the fleeing Gangte pursued by the Mizo. The Gangte families moved on and reached Manipur. The Gangte and a Bukpi dialect’s group of Paite living in close proximity in Thanlon subdivision of Churachandpur district have very similar social way of life.
  • The Gangtes are normally Christians but still remember their animistic ways. They worship streams, big mountains, a snake with red coloured neck (Gulgawngsan) and deities such as Chongpokpa/Chongpoknu.
  • The Gangtes are broadly divided into three phungs, namely (a) Thanglun (b) Teklah, sub-divided into two vehs and (c) Thangjom with nine vehs. These Phungs are exogamous social units. Among them, marriage with the daughter of mother’s brother is prescribed whereas the daughter of father’s sister is forbidden to be connubial mate.
  • The traditional festivals of the Gangtes are: Chapchal Kut, Gahmasa Kut, Mim Kut, Chavang Kut (the post harvest festival) and a ritual known as “Thaklak”.
  • The people in the past wore cotton produced with tension loom. But at present they commonly use wools. Their traditional clothes include Paundum, a shawl put on by men of all ranks, Thangsuohpuon, a personifying shawl that indicates its wrapper as higher status acheiver and performer of Chawng rite and Puonlaisan used by both men and women.


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